Steorn's long promised first quarter update, released April 13th, consisted of a five minute video revealing a few new bits of information, but mostly just recapping what we'd already been told. In addition, what had at first been previewed as "detailed technical specifications" turned into two paragraphs of vague jargon - apparently Orbo is based on "time variant magneto-mechanical interactions" - and a single hard number, 0.5:
Orbo was initially developed as using stop-start mechanisms (with a power density of 0.5 Watts per cm3), Steorn is currently finalizing the development of constant motion systems and a significant improvement in power density is anticipated.
The lack of substantial new information can, like most everything Steorn's done so far, be interpreted in multiple ways. Of course, it can all be smoke and mirrors, for whatever purpose - maybe to buy more time while they continue to bilk investors. It's also possible that Steorn has in fact been hard at work on the more commercially viable constant motion version of Orbo, but they weren't able to get it done in time for this update as they had hoped and expected. Again, we'll just have to wait until July to find out.
Steorn CEO Sean McCarthy did acknowledge the scarcity of new information in the April 13th update, and held a question and answer session on the forum to help compensate. Highlights are reprinted below.
Q: What progress do you have with the continuous motion testing?
A: We have made huge progress on this - we expect to be demoing this version in July. ...I would say 80-90% of the way.
Q: What is the principle reason for Steorn's current level of secrecy?
A: There are several reasons, on a very basic point it will make no difference to our time to market, since we are obviously waiting until validation anyway. There are IP and patent issues also and clearly there is a risk of giving counterfeiters and competitors a heads up. The decision on the July demos was a risk/reward decision for us - we feel that the public exposure will be worth taking some of the risks highlighted above. And it is also about the time that we need to engage with main stream media again.
Q: What's the basic difference between start/stop and continuous motion devices? Does the start/stop mean that the device must be restarted and restarted all over again to keep it running? Or does it mean that the device is startable and stoppable? (Once you start it, it rolls until someone presses the stop-button?)
A: Stop/start devices stop in the middle of a cycle, there is no manual intervention.
Q: Does the continuous motion involve electromagnets?
Q: If the US government takes your patent then you can't sell licenses here?
A: Ok there are national security issues with respect to patents and so on, but even if this was an issue (and I do not believe it will be for one moment), this would in no way prevent us from taking the tech to market. First, we do not file patents in the US only, second we will not only rely on patent protection and finally our 'market' is the internet.
Q: With regard to the continuous motion device you're working on, does the device continuously accelerate until mechanical failure?
Q: Have the jurors (or at least some of them) seen the device and if so have they concluded that it works or have they concluded that it doesn't?
A: It would only take a small amount of time to see if we had faked a machine - I in fact agree with this statement. lol, there are only so many places to look for energy that is being added into a system in a hoax fashion. However this is of course not what we are doing, you can believe that or not - but it is a fact.
With respect to the current phase that the jury are engaged in, it is as I have said before a form of 'peer' review, despite some of your comments from last night these people do in fact have other careers and other demands on their time. The process is in depth and indeed our presentation of the effects behind the technology, and the Q&A's that follow this address the heart of the matter. It should also be said that I have little doubt that some of the tests that have been presented by us have been replicated by some of the jurors.
Have the jurors yet seen a machine? Ok well I answered this last night, and the answer is no. Lol, I can already hear the cries of foul and deep intakes of breath as I write this. The physical test phase is scheduled to start soon, but IMO this will involve the selection of independent lab(s) and definition of tests to be conducted.
This was never going to be a fast process, it is going to take a lot of time and those who read stuff into this are mis-reading the situation. Of course these people are going to [be] slow and cautious. I again stress that none of the above should be misunderstood, the core issues behind our technology are being addressed. For those who believe that this could be done in a few days staring into a machine, you are just wrong.
Q: What happened to the American demonstration?
A: Good question - the answer is that we are going to try and get media attention. Only a few of us are prepared to stand in the public eye and it is just not practical for us to try and split this 'event' across two locations. I should point out that this does not mean that we will not be doing a demo in the US, its just that doing two at the same time would be too much of a stretch on the company, I doubt if the July thing will be the only demo that we do.
A: Yes, we are a small company and can only take the development so far, thats why we are releasing the technology in the way that we are, the more, smart, fast companies that work on this for their own commercial interests the better for everyone.
Q: How do you explain to yourself how a couple of hundred years of science and engineering could have missed the effect?
A: ...A group of people like us would not have made this type of discovery 20 years ago. It is simply a question of money, the type of measurement equipment, computing power and so on that is necessary to rule out measurement error would simply have priced us out of the possibility of discovery 20 years ago. If we had the initial measurements 20 years ago with the type of equipment that a normal company could afford I have no doubt that we would just have written it off to measurement error.
Q: Are you going to put up a video of the display unit, after or perhaps even before the public display?
A: Well you will be able to watch the whole thing live over the internet via webcams. You can also chat via live chat software with people there. This is not going to be a one day thing, its going to be there for 10 days. And yes after that we will put videos on our site, but I expect that there will be plenty of them anyway with loads of new hoax theories as well!!